Issues


Half-way through the European Parliament mandate, several European Civil Society Organisations reflect on what the Parliament had achieved in the past 2 and a half years, and to check up on the progress made against politicians’ promises and citizens’ demands.

The On Our Watch project brings together Civil Society Organisations working on all kinds of topics: from youth to poverty, from transparency to gender equality. Have a look below at all issues we have analysed so far – and contribute yourself! As a Civil Society Organisation, you can contribute by adding your analysis on your key topic(s). As an organisation or individual, you can contribute to the debate on the one of the issues via our blog page. For both, contact us!

Despite some success, there is a long way to go for the European Parliament to truly stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business.

Tackling Excessive Lobbying

Representative democracy is based on interactions between citizens and decision makers. In this digital age, an absence of interaction between these players appears out-dated and unnecessary.

Citizen Involvement

The European Parliament has offered some support to young people as they fight for fair access to paid, quality internships. Many individual MEPs are enthusiastic defenders of youth employment rights. But progress is slow, and MEPs will need to make the issue a real priority for the rest of their mandate. We also deplore the fact that many MEPs still take unpaid interns in their offices.

Quality Internships

Though mental health is not a core competence of the European Union, the European Parliament decision making in the areas of social, disability, migratory and human rights policy are likely to have a direct impact on the wellbeing of millions of Europeans and on persons living with mental ill health and psychosocial disabilities.

Mental Health

Combatting climate change is one of the main challenges of our time. It is a core objective of the EU’s environmental policy, but also plays into many different policy areas ranging from energy and industrial policy to finance, migration and international cooperation. The decisions taken by MEPs today will determine the EU’s ability to cope with substantial ongoing challenges: achieving a socially just and clean energy transition, making the European economy sustainable and adhering to the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Climate and Energy

Education is not one of the core competences of the EU and so the role of the European Parliament and other EU institutions is mainly limited to supporting Member States through non-binding opinions and recommendations, bench-marking and the exchange of best practices. EU provides funding for education, most notably through the flagship Erasmus+ programme which is closely scrutinized by Members of the European Parliament. Having this in mind, here is the analysis of the Parliament’s progress on a selection of topics in the field of education.

Education

The numerous challenges Europe faces appear divergent, but many economic and social problems are closely linked to the environment. Often at their root is the unsustainable way in which we use our finite natural resources – within Europe and the wider world.

Protecting Nature

Prior to the 2014 European Elections, Restarting the Future began a campaign and petition aimed at promoting transparency and fighting corruption and organized crime in the EU. Restarting the Future mirrored the efforts of its sister organization in Italy, Riparte il futuro, which leading up to the political elections of February 2013, promoted a petition in Italy which required candidates from all political parties to act transparently and commit to improving Italian anti-corruption laws.

Fighting corruption

Confronted to a new financial and security context, European armed forces are required to collaborate closer and military personnel to train and work more and better together. The EU should therefore enable this process by developing its common defence policy.

Common Defence

EU institutions are mandated to 'encourage the participation of young people in democratic life in Europe' - how has the European Parliament sought to advance this goal?

Youth Participation

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